Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty affecting the way in which information is processed. 

Whilst the condition is not solely confined to literacy, the most commonly recognised signs are problems with reading, writing and spelling. 

The majority of children with dyslexia will also have difficulty with language, memory, and the sequencing aspects  of basic mathematics.

Approximately 60% of people with dyslexia have phonological difficulties and struggle to sort out the sounds within words. 
Dyslexia is usually present from birth, but can also be acquired as a result of losing some aspect of literacy skills as a result of brain injury, or where an illness such as otitis media (or ‘glue ear’) has impeded the development of normal literacy skills.

Dyslexia is not related to, nor does it affect the individual’s IQ level, and is therefore not an intellectual or learning disability.

How dyslexia affects people

Each person has their own pattern of strengths and weaknesses. Many work well in situations requiring lateral thinking, and may shine in such fields as the arts, design, and computing.

Individuals can learn to read and write with appropriate educational support, and the condition need not preclude entering into a wide range of careers. 

Dyslexia should be recognised as a spectrum disorder, with symptoms ranging from very mild to very severe. In particular, people with dyslexia may have difficulties with the following:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Verbal memory
  • Verbal processing speed

Studies have shown that people with dyslexia use different parts of their brain, making more use of the right hemisphere, which is involved in the more creative aspects of thought.

How many people have dyslexia?

Approximately 10% of the population are affected by dyslexia to some extent, with around 4% being affected severely.

It is estimated that there are about 375,000 pupils with dyslexia in the UK.

Getting help

Our work at the Foundation focuses primarily on people with learning disabilities as opposed to people with specific learning difficulties. For more information about this condition we suggest you contact an organisation which specialises in these conditions’ like the British Dyslexia Association.